What Does Balustrade Mean In Architecture?
What Does Balustrade Mean In Architecture?
In architecture, a balustrade is a structure composed of a row of small evenly spaced columns known as balusters topped with a handrail. These ornamental pieces not only serve a functional purpose by preventing falls on staircases and terraces but they also add a decorative touch to open areas and function as dividers between spaces.
The term “balustrade” derives from the word “baluster,” which has its origins in 17th-century Italy. The column’s bulbous shape which resembles a half-open blossom of a wild pomegranate and is known as “balaustra” in Italian gives the baluster its name.
Balustrades are a common feature of both classical and modern architecture often serving as a prominent element of a building’s design.
Their design can range from simple and functional to highly ornamental and elaborate depending on the architectural style and the desired aesthetic effect.
History Of The Balustrade
The balustrade is an architectural feature that has been utilized worldwide for centuries. Its earliest appearance can be traced back to ancient Assyrian palaces where it was seen in sculptural murals lining the windows.
Although it was not used in ancient Greek or Roman architecture, the balustrade was inspired by the colonnade a series of large columns placed at regular intervals that provided structural support for a roof or an entablature.
Colonnades date back to ancient Greece with the Parthenon being one of the most famous examples.
The balustrade made a resurgence during the Italian Renaissance in the late 15th century as architects sought to revive classical architecture. They experimented with classical elements which led to the creation of a smaller version of the colonnade – the balustrade.
This feature has since been used extensively in modern architecture as it provides both structural support and aesthetic appeal.
Balusters, which are the individual vertical posts that make up the balustrade are versatile components that can be adapted to suit different needs. While they were traditionally carved from stone modern balusters can be made from a variety of materials including wood, metal and stone.
The balustrade remains a popular feature in architecture today with its combination of functionality and beauty making it an attractive choice for architects and designers.
Difference Between Balustrades And Balusters
A balustrade and baluster are two distinct components that form a complete structure. Balusters are the vertical supports which create an enclosure, while the handrail is connected on top of the balusters to make up the balustrade.
Depending on its design, a balustrade may also contain parts such as end posts with decorative caps, a foot rail (horizontal section below the balusters), or “banister” (an alteration of “baluster” commonly used in reference to the handrail).
Together these elements form a single structure which can be seen along staircases or balconies.
What Is The Purpose Of Balustrade?
The purpose of balustrade is to provide a safe and secure barrier guard from any potential falls from elevated architectural elements such as roofs, balconies, terraces, stairways, and other elevated architectural features.
Balustrade can be constructed from various materials including stone, wood, metal, glass or other materials depending on the requirements of the design. Its primary function is to provide stability and security in order to prevent people from falling off any raised platform or area.
Balustrade also adds visual appeal to the landscape by providing an aesthetically pleasing decorative detail to structures.
What Is The Difference Between Balustrade And Handrail?
A balustrade is the section below a handrail which usually consists of vertical posts or a solid section that follows the path of the stairs.
It provides protection and safety, helping to prevent people from falling. On the other hand, a handrail is typically made up of a single rounded bar which runs along the length of one side of stairs and around any landings or platforms.
Its primary purpose is to serve as something to hold onto while ascending or descending the stairway – providing an easy-to-grip surface for added stability, so it can be used as a guide when walking up or down.
What Type Of Building Features A Balustrade?
Balustrades are used mainly for building and construction purposes, often featured in Colonial and Victorian homes. They come in many different standard styles and sizes, but custom balustrades can also be made to fit any specific needs.
Balustrade applications can be found on staircases and balconies, along the edges of terraces or decks along the sides of porches and verandas, around the perimeter of a roofline or gazebo, around swimming pools and hot tubs, as part of garden edging features such as trellises and pergolas; they can even be used as freestanding structures like columns or pillars.
With so many potential uses in architecture and decorative landscaping designs, balustrades offer an attractive way to enhance a home’s look while increasing its value at the same time.
What Are The Main Components Of A Balustrade?
A balustrade typically consists of a handrail, spindles or balusters, base rail and newel posts. The handrail is usually the topmost element of a balustrade and provides a place for people to hold on while descending or ascending the stairs; it is typically found attached to the spindles/balusters which run down either side of the staircase, providing an attractive design detail.
The base rail may be present at both the top and bottom of each section of stairs and helps to secure the handrail in place.
Finally, newel posts support the stair structure at key points along its length, such as at major changes in direction or where it meets a landing.